MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS || Remaking the 1974 Sidney Lumet classic Murder On The Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh is not only directing, he is also sitting in the director’s chair. Having not seen the original, I am assuming Johnny Depp’s character is the one that gets murdered, seeing as he is not among those sitting on the trailer when the detective (played by Branagh himself) lets the passengers know that there has been a murder. The original film was known for its star-studded cast, including iconic names like Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, and Vanessa Redgrave. This latest version also boasts an ensemble cast including Academy Award winner Penelope Cruz as “the Missionary,” Academy Award winner Judi Dench as “the Princess,” Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe as “the Professor,” Academy Award nominee Michelle Pfeiffer as “the Widow,” Josh Gad as “the Assistant,” and Daisy Ridley as “the Governess,” among other lesser known names. The big question is whether or not the new film will follow the same exact premise as the original, which in part would give away the ending if you had seen the original.
A few things bother me. If this is a period piece, the use of music is a little jarring, using the new Imagine Dragon’s single “Believer” with the drumming interlude acting as the perfect part for setting up the players, but otherwise not quite feeling connected to the material. The other thing that bothers me, and this could be coming from the original, but Kenneth Branagh’s performance as the detective on the train feels like a caricature, footsteps away from something like the Pink Panther, with proclamations like “and I am probably the greatest detective in the world” and a mustache that is straight out of a cartoon. What basically adds up to Clue on a train, I’m on the fence about watching the original before this remake comes out, because if it gives away the same ending, I fear the viewing of the newer film will suffer because of it, so I do believe I will wait.
Release Date: November 10, 2017
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh
Studio: 20th Century Fox